taxi for lovejoy

As you can tell I’m catching up with things back in the UK as quickly as I can but one programme on the telly has left me speechless in its awfulness. Is it just me or is Tim Lovejoy’s new programme, the obsessively-titled David Beckham’s Soccer USA, a pile of crap? I’ve written before about how much I enjoy watching Lovejoy especially on the massively irreverent Soccer AM. A programme designed to promote Sky’s football output clearly but one which broke the mould – allowing fans to celebrate what’s great, awful and funny about the game and to produce and star in their own programme. But this DBSUSA rubbish is an appalling rip off.

It features Tim as the lone presenter – he’s best bouncing off co-presenters IMHO and he looks in desperate need of a foil. Plus they have stolen two of the real stars of Soccer AM, Fenners and Sheephead, but don’t know how to use them it seems. It’s shamelessly scheduled by Channel 5 at the same time as Soccer Am to try and pinch their audience no doubt. It’s also a shameless plug by Simon Fuller’s 19 company, which manages team Dave and Vicky, for brand Beckham and the lad’s move to LA Galaxy. There’ll be no sniggering about the standard of the US game on this show, believe me. This is the sort of fawning exploitation crap Lovejoy and crew would have ridiculed at one time. Now they look embarrassed serving it up. Indeed at one point this morning, after the umpteenth cut to hear what DB had to say about footballing life in America, Tim invited the audience to contact Soccer AM rather than Soccer USA which was a delightful little Freudian slip. I would have done as you advised and switched channels if only we had Sky, Tim.

What on earth are you doing son? Inviting us to support a US team and showing us some of the rubbish action and the pitches with all their grid iron marking clearly on them, doesn’t become you. You should be reacting against this cynical marketing rot rather than promoting it. There are no catch-phrases, in-jokes, treble entendres, favourite sequencies, saucy soccerettes, knowing winks to the camera because it’s all so plainly and tightly scripted by the pc brigade as it’s also being screened in the US and Canada. I only hope your move hasn’t also ruined the Soccer Am format but I sense it’ll be less of a programme without 3 of its funniest stars and that numpty Andy Goldstein co-presenting.

The only bit of good news on the football/tv front is that I hear Jimmy Hill has been dumped from the JH Sunday Supplement (see earlier posting Over the Hill). That’s what happens when they personalise TV programmes – it’s really saying the star is more important than the programme and the content becomes incidental. It’s almost always a recipe for rubbish; witness Brucie’s Big Night, Jim Davidson’s Generation Game and Dale’s Supermarket Sweep. I caught the latter yesterday and it is truly crap but I’d pay to watch it over DBSUSA any day. Er…no I wouldn’t.



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